Thomas “Blue” Miller is expecting a visit from the marketing executive whose radio station is featuring his Christmas tree farm in a holiday promotion. What he’s not expecting is the marketing executive to be his first love, the woman who at eighteen turned down his marriage proposal and left September, Texas, never to be heard from again.
Jessie Buchanan has come to see Blue under false pretenses. Her station’s promotion has her remembering the man she left behind, the man she still loves and fears she always will. The man she knew would never leave the town that holds the worst memories of her life. Unfortunately, it also holds the best—those of loving and being loved by Blue.
Will one more night in his bed prove her memories false and allow her to finally move on? Or will this Christmas be the beginning of something even better than before for them both?
“A tale rich with emotional complexity.” — Cindy P., Wordweaving
He reached out, ran his hand along the side of her neck, his fingers into the hair at her nape, and cupped the back of her skull. “I’m waiting here, Jess. I want an answer.”
She nodded, a smile playing along the line of her lips slick from the touch of her tongue and tinted a dark winter rose. “You used to be more trusting.”
He snorted. “I used to be eighteen.”
“So did I,” she said, turning her face to press her lips, the tip of her tongue, the barest edge of her teeth, to the inside of his forearm. “We’re both older now, Blue. And hopefully more than a little bit wiser.”
His pride ordered him to let her go. His cock that remembered that warm and wet mouth told him to pull her body to his. “Being wiser is the reason I don’t trust you. If you set this up . . . if you set me up . . . so help me I’ll—”
“You’ll do what? Turn me over your knee?”
Why did she look like that’s exactly what she wanted him to do? Not fifteen minutes ago he’d been working on a plan to get out of this deal with the radio station. Now the idea didn’t seem like the same waste of time—except he knew that’s exactly what it was.
He couldn’t work with this woman. Fuck her, yeah. But deal with her professionally? Keep their contact strictly business when she was the last person on earth he’d have invited back into his life?
He hated her even more now that she was standing here, her lips parted and her breathing labored, making him forget why he had never wanted to see her again. He needed to remember her leaving, the way she had given but half of the story, never telling him the whole truth. He tilted her head back, stared directly down into her eyes. His pulse roared in his ears—and in his pants, where his non-thinking head wanted a rough-and-raw pounding revenge.
“I think you’d better get back in that fancy import of yours and get the hell back to Dallas before you regret having come here.”
“You haven’t even heard my proposal yet.” She caught at her lower lip with her teeth, once, twice.
The fog of breath she exhaled surrounded him, a warm cocoon in the rapidly frosting air. It was all Blue could do not to slide his hand into her panties and see if she was as slick and wet as the look in her eyes promised.
“I don’t need to hear it. This Christmas tree thing isn’t going to happen. There’s only one thing that ever worked between us, Jess. And I don’t think you’re here to sleep with me.”